Hot Santas In The Summertime

“Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. I was kind of indisposed yesterday. Goth funerals are kind of an all-day thing.”

I know goth folk have a rep for being, how do you say, a bit catty and high-drama. We also have a rep for being shallow, allegedly basing entire relationships on clothes and hair. Thus, I suspect I am being a bit naive in this post, but you’ll have to bear with me. All cynical pessimists are just disappointed naive optimists in disguise.

The thesis statement of the day was that Bristow always enjoyed getting seemingly bizarre groups of people together, so I’m guessing that he was really enjoying the hell out of yesterday. There were an array of goth folk, dressed in their “real-life funeral” clothes (understated, as opposed to over-the-top), but there were also pirates, Santas, clowns, gypsies and someone (one of TWO people in attendance named Elf**) dressed in full battle regalia, complete with full-size sword. Standing in and among these people were traditional-looking grandmas, wearing those polyester blouses that tie at the neck.

There was some bizarre Jesusy stuff that never fails to make me feel weird. It only made sense at my grandpa’s funeral, because he was a deacon. Oh, also at Obadiah’s funeral, cause he was totally Jesusy. With everybody else, it’s like “dude, what does this Bible passage have to do with anything?” I hate the “hire a stranger to talk about your friend” thing. Oh well. Grandmas like that sort of thing. For the rest of us, one of Kris’s buddies got up and spoke to wash out the icky feeling that I had from the first guy.

I didn’t see much during the service because somebody sprang an open casket on us. Again, some people need an open casket for closure. That’s fine for them and none of my business, but I chose to remove my glasses. From the third row, said open casket was just a blurry white thing, and I won’t have to live the rest of my life with that picture in my head. I prefer the picture where Kris is dancing, or wielding two plastic guns and wearing elf ears. Isn’t this way more kick-ass?

Like my mom, I don’t much get down with traditional funerals. The CD playing Amazing Grace, the pink light bulbs, flowers attempting to cover the smell of a funeral home…we understand it, but we don’t “get” it. Again, we’ll have to let this go, as grandma wants what she wants. It’s fine for people who want that, but if you do it to me, I will personally track you down and haunt you until the fun wears off. If Kris had had time to plan an Irish band and fire breathers, he might have. As it was, you accept what’s there and don’t over-think it. Over-thinking and being pissed doesn’t change anything. (Holy crap, did I just say that? WHO AM I?)

The post-funeral gathering at Mulligan’s was nice, as everybody finally got to just get trashed and have a release for a while. I suck at funerals; nobody wants to know what I think about heaven or funeral directors, but I do know how to drink vodka and get giggly. My friends have apparently taken a vote and decided that I’m much more fun when tipsy. (“She’s not complaining about ANYTHING!”)

I naively hope that the goth hatchets that were buried this last week can stay buried. I’m glad that everybody was able to get over their feelings about who slept with who or who did some stupid crap to who or we think is kind of a skank and just get together and be nice for a while. It was nice to see some faces that I haven’t seen in years. Hopefully, we can keep it up. I’m fairly certain this is what Kris would have wanted to see.

I remember Sundays playing “gothic volleyball” (badly). I remember sewing things with Jen while Kevin and Kris watched Red Dwarf. I remember dancing, Guitar Hero, and Cinco de Mayo. I remember someone who always treated me like a kid sister, even though he only had three years on me. (I know, it’s hard to take someone seriously when they’re two heads shorter than you and have a taste for pigtails.) I remember climbing that 9-foot chain link fence because it seemed like a good idea at the time. I remember Kris worrying that I might pass out for the rest of the walk because of the profusely bleeding cut from said chain link fence. I remember Hollie photographing us for her school project, taking the “we are a bad goth band” picture. You can tell the picture’s old because my accessories are tiny. My jewelry gets bigger and bigger, like I develop a tolerance over time. Bracelets are my heroin.

**I secretly wish that the two people named Elf would get together and date, just cause it would be awesome.

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My Funeral/Job Interview Outfit is Getting Tired.

I never know what to say when people die. I suck at anything that requires some other response than sarcasm. Luckily, Younger Amy (when she was Amy and not “evil,”) bailed me out on this one. She never said much of anything to anybody, but she has a tendency to sit in a coffee shop and write poetry with a Pilot V5. We all kind of took ourselves too seriously then. We ALL wrote poetry.

Anyway, I wrote this (completely friend-wise, might I add), for Kris Bristow. I’m guessing I’m about to witness the world’s best-dressed memorial service. There will be goth folk and roller girls. The place is going to be packed.

Grey

Gun metal grey, his eyes reached into me
Looking for understanding
His curled smile spoke truth
Of my walls
Which, til now, have served me well.
After months of braind ead comfort
His words have shaken me awake
To look up at the angel before me
To hear this song
Of words
Which lodge in my rib cage
Inches from my skittish heart
Two inches more…
And the bullet would have claimed me
He would hold my reluctant heart
Thus adding another to his collection.
What is one heart to him, but a drop in the ocean?
Yet, still, he has reached me
Though my heart is still my own,
A chip has fallen from its wall
Shaken loose by the force
Of ammunition words
From a curled smile
And gun metal grey eyes.

——————————————————
** Note to $_Deity: While you seem to be amused by killing my friends and family members lately, I appreciate letting my aunt and her friend survive that badass car wreck. Don’t think this gets you completely off the hook, though.

You’re Soaking In It

“The only reason you are alive
Is that someone has decided to let you live.”
-KMFDM

Whenever death hits the American public, the American public responds as the American public expects itself to respond. The American public was shocked and horrified by September 11. The American public was stunned by the loss of Princess Diana. Though I didn’t witness them, the American public was probably shocked and stunned by the deaths of Martin Luther King, John F Kennedy, and Elvis. Today, the death of Michael Jackson has taken over, making the deaths of Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon sad footnotes. It’s a bit like Heathers. In life, MJ was Crazy Uncle Jacko who sat in the corner at family reunions and mumbled about Vietnam. In death, he is 20-something and moonwalking at the celebration for the 25th anniversary of Motown. We’ll be stunned for a minute, buy a commemorative copy of the New York Times, and then go back to thinking about what we’re doing this weekend.

I don’t know why the American public is so easy to stun and shock.

Terrorists had been trying to bomb the World Trade Center for years. Princess Diana was hounded constantly. MLK and JFK had no small portion of enemies, and Elvis was taking all of the pills in Memphis. The only times TMZ ever got a shot of Michael Jackson were when he was scuttling out of a doctor’s office. Nothing screams “death’s door” quite like having medical dust masks to match every outfit.

Humans are so easy to kill; all you have to do is cut off the air, get the heart to stop, or damage the brain badly enough to do one of the two. Anurisms, stray bullets, car wrecks, heart attacks and blood clots are everywhere. If you eat three times a day, you have roughly 600-800 opportunities to choke each day.

Today, toddlers all over the world are going to notice their parents’ behavior and want to know why people have to die. People die because we’d have a hell of a population problem if they didn’t. People die so that those who are left alive won’t squander their time. Somewhere, Little Timmy is realizing that he can be snuffed out at every turn. Somewhere Timmy knows death is always two steps behind him. Somewhere, Little Timmy is deciding to stop wasting time.